Runners inspired to race by loved ones

I MADE IT: Liz Swansborough ran for Children with Cancer
I MADE IT: Liz Swansborough ran for Children with Cancer

Friends and loved ones were remembered through grit and determination as those completing the London Marathon drew strength from those they miss.

Every competitor pounding the streets of the famous road race has a story to tell and keen runners from across the area were no different.

Jimmy Wilding, 72, from Hadleigh, was among those going the distance in aid of the British Heart Foundation.

He chose the charity in memory of his friend and forming running partner David Williams, who died of a heart attack at the age of 42. The pair had ran the marathon together 20 years ago.

“It was very difficult and I have a damaged thigh muscle so I was battling from step one,” said Jimmy, who lives in Lambert Close and finished in six hours and 15 minutes.

“It felt lonely running 20 years on without David but I chatted to lots of people.”

Jimmy even featured on the BBC’s marathon stories and is hoping to reach his £2,500 fundraising target.

“I was interviewed by Denise Lewis and that was a real highlight, along with the fabulous crowds,” he said.

“The donations I have received have been phenomenal.”

Sudbury father-of-three Adrian Stohr, who took on the 26.2 mile challenge for the first time last year, was also back for more to raise £1,515 for Children with Cancer, but his race was not without drama.

“After I crossed the finish line I was carried off on a stretcher as I collapsed due to heat exhaustion,” said the 38-year-old from The Hawthorns.

“I was fine for the first 10 miles but then the heat took it out off me and I was also tripped around that point and it took me a while to get back up.”

Adrian, who took up running following the death of his father in order to lose weight, said he had his heart set on taking on the marathon for a third time despite the problems and finishing in five hours 34 minutes.

“I have unfinished business and want to go back,” he said. “I have had so much support.”

Also fighting fatigue were friends Liz Swanborough, from Holbrook Barn Road in Boxford, and Sarah Fardell, of Wretford Court in Melford.

Liz, who has raised more than £2,000 for Children with Cancer, crossed the line in five hours 13 minutes, while Sarah clocked an impressive three hours 40 minutes and has raised £1,000 for the same cause.

“My grandma and my auntie have both died from cancer and I wanted to run for them,” said Sarah.

“It was an amazing day and I am still on a high.”

Elsewhere William Taylor, from Elmsett, took inspiration from his father’s blindness to complete the distance in five hours 39 minutes.

The 23-year-old ran in aid of the British Retinitis Pigmentosa Society (BRPS), which has supported his dad Robert, who was born with the degenerative condition and has been forced to give up running as a result.

“He was always a keen runner and now I am picking up the mantle,” he said.

“I have raised around £900 but my goal is £2,000.”